Carbon Monoxide Checklist
To Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning:
- Pull your vehicle out of the garage and away from the house at least five feet while it warms up. Carbon monoxide from the engine’s exhaust is trapped in the garage and will eventually migrate into the house.
- Never run an engine of any kind (generators, weed whips, chain saws, gas powered air compressors, gas powered paint sprayers, leaf-blowers) in the garage or house.
- Never use your gas range or oven for temporary heat. The stove or oven will run correctly until it consumes much of the oxygen in the area. At that point it will start emitting carbon monoxide at high levels and the area will become toxic very quickly.
- Make sure your BBQ pit is far enough away from the house so that a breeze doesn’t push the combustion gasses into an open window.
- Never operate a BBQ pit or gas-fired deep fryer in a garage (or the house,) even with the door open.
- Before you use your fireplace, make sure the damper is open, a window is open and there is positive draft up the flue. Always operate your fireplace with a window at least partially open. A fireplace can easily cause the water heater flue to back draft when sufficient combustion air is not available. If you frequently use the fireplace, install an outside air duct and damper for the fireplace.
- Never operate a ventless gas heater in an enclosed space! Period! Always open a window before starting the heater. (Same applies for a ventless gas fireplace.) Never, ever sleep in an enclosed space with a ventless gas appliance. No matter what the manufacturer’s literature says, there may be a point where the safety-shut-off device or oxygen-depletion-sensor does NOT operate correctly.
- Radiant gas-fired heaters can produce high levels of carbon monoxide when the surrounding air is depleted of oxygen. (This can occur in a few hours depending on the size of the area and output of the heater.) If you use a radiant heater in your garage, be sure to provide some method to bring fresh air into the area.
- Do not run your attic fan with only a few windows open. Large attic fans move enough air out of the house that they cause the water heater flue to back draft. Be sure to check the flue for positive draw (combustion gasses going up the flue) while the attic fan is running.
- Never open the blower compartment on your furnace with the burners and blower operating. (This is the quickest way to pull CO into the house if there is already a problem with your furnace!)
- Never allow the blower door to remain ajar while the furnace is running. Air leakage around the blower door can lead to furnace or water heater flue back drafts.
- Make sure furnace filters are changed regularly. Make sure the filter slot is closed by either a tight fitting air filter or sheet metal cap.
- Regularly check the flue on the furnace and water heater to make sure it draws correctly. Turn on all kitchen and bath exhaust fans, the drier and any other appliance that exhausts air, then check for flue draw.